International Artist's Vessels Adopted from Sculpture Placement Group for BLiSS Trail

Loch Earn Tourism Information (LETi) has adopted four sculptures by Canadian artist Alex Tedlie-Stursberg for the award winning BLiSS art trail,  collaborating with Glasgow's new Sculpture Placement Group (SPG).

Vessels 1, 3 and 4 are now on display outside the Clachan Cottage Hotel in Lochearnhead,  with Vessel 2 positioned at the Village shop and post office in Strathyre.

The set has joined the Scottish Thistle Award winning BLiSS trail of art and architectural installations  that link Balquhidder,  Lochearnhead,  Strathyre and St Fillans villages, on the A84,  A85 and Sustrans cycle route 7 - within the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.

'Vessels' is a series of four cement sculptures with found elements, that were prepared in residence at Glasgow Sculpture Studios for presentation at Glasgow International 2018, as part of the exhibition Holy-Wave at Laurieston Arches.

The sculpture series explores the relationship between the art object and the spiritual object.  Four  independent sculptures seek to mimic the formal makeup of backyard 'grottos' -  manufactured landscape formations made to house spiritual objects, often produced from concrete and adorned with found objects.

The artist Alex Tedlie-Stursberg explains,  "As sculptures,  'Vessels' seek to abstract from their ultimate purpose and stand devoid of the spiritual objects that might inhabit them. Cave like in nature, the works focus on the  'grotto' form and the materiality of both the concrete and found objects that adorn their exterior."

One of the founders of SPG, sculptor Kate V Robertson, said,  "SPG explores ways of prolonging the lifespan of sculptures via action research and piloting alternative models. We launched this year, having previously hosted exhibitions of works languishing in storage, and relocating several key pieces that had become redundant after their initial exhibition.  We are working with artists, arts organisations, academic institutions and community groups like LETi,  to encourage sustainable working within the visual arts sector, facilitating engagement with sculptural practice. We have compiled a stored sculpture inventory, and a catalogue of works that are available for adoption by organisations that can offer care and a new audience.

Kim Proven, Chair of LETi said, "We are delighted to collaborate with the new Sculpture Placement Group, uniting on sustainable art and tourism.  We chose Alex Tedlie-Stursberg sculptures because they are a perfect fit for LETI's  eye catching, road and cycle route  installations.  The BLiSS trail is constantly evolving. It is exciting to host  sculptures by our first international artist,  on a trail that was created to make people stop, smile and spend time in our picturesque villages.  We hope that Alex will visit sometime in the future. " 

The Strathyre Village Shop and Post Office is run by The Richards  family.  Emma Richards said,  "We chose Vessel 2 to display outside our shop entrance, also visible from the tables and chairs that we place for the use of guests who pop in for snacks and drinks. The intriguing shape, dotted with colourful bottle caps is a terrific focal point and already a topic of discussion in the village."  

Janet Richards said, "This is right up my street.  I run 'Crafternoon' sessions  in the community and admire all aspects of creative thought and practice. I  could spend hours looking at the colourful caps, many  with Canadian logos,  wondering about the stories attached to each one.  We were going to plant a flower border under the sculpture, however visitors and locals are already walking around the installation to view its hollowed areas from all angles,  so we have added bark for now.  I am fascinated to see children already placing toys and sweets into the four grotto spaces,  gently, respectfully and without being prompted. "

Alan Garnier, owner of the Clachan Cottage Hotel said,  "Vessel 3 is mounted on our roadside wall to attract attention and capture the imagination of cyclists, walkers, drivers and locals on the A85. Vessels 1 and 4 enjoy a position overlooking Loch Earn near our jetty.  You can see them from our bar, restaurant and outdoor seating area. Boating guests who use our facilities, can enjoy a different aspect of the sculptures when arriving via Loch Earn.  We hope to see many creative sunrise and sunset photographs appearing on social media. "

LETi  launched an audio version of the trail this year in conjunction with Geotourist, whose smartphone app enables visitors to locate each installation and listen to stories recorded by the artists and community representatives. (https://geotourist.com/tours/2040 )

The innovative trail can now boast 25 permanent art installations available to visit all year round. Thanks to  SPG's adoption service, Vessels 1, 2, 3 and 4 have found a welcome home in Rob Roy Country.

Abigail ShepherdComment